Saturday, April 5, 2014

In His Stead by Judith Sanders

Title:  In His Stead
Author:  Judith Sanders
Published:  November 10th 2012 by IronWord Press, LLC
Length:  325pgs
Format:  paperback
Genre:  contemporary fiction
Shelf:  giveaways
Rating:  ★★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:


Retired Army Ranger Thomas Lane once burned for the taste of gunpowder and the thrill of the battle. But as he struggles to cope with his own PTSD and the death of his eldest son, killed by an IED in Afghanistan, Lane learns that the price of war is far too dear.

When the National Guard calls up Lane’s youngest son to serve, Lane knows he will do anything to save his child—even if it means going in his place, a pursuit unheard of since the Civil War when slaves were sent to war in place of their masters.

In His Stead, Judith Sander's second novel, follows Thomas Lane's crusade against the United States Army, its JAG corps, a vengeful officer, the very son he is desperate to save, and his own wife, who has the Solomon-like choice of losing either a husband or a son.

Capturing the essence of family life in wartime—the good, the bad, and the hopeful—In His Stead explores what it means to be a father and a man.

My review:

This is a very emotional and hard hitting novel. It’s also very personal, drawing you right into the lives of the characters that you come to know intimately. Sanders develops the setting and storyline of this novel in a very natural manner. At the same time, it is very hard hitting and emotionally significant. Everything is vivid yet still real, rather than larger than life. Once I got into this story I couldn’t put it down. This was also a very emotional and cathartic read. Sanders definitely left me in tears at the end.

I really enjoyed getting to know the main character in this novel. Not only does he wrestle with issues that impact him and his family as a whole, he also wrestles with deficiencies he finds within himself, trying to become what he deems as a better person. It is a very emotional thing for both him and the reader.

This definitely isn’t a light read. It’s a hard hitting, emotional novel with an impact that’s going to stay with me for the long haul.

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